LISTEN: Buying your teen a smartphone? Emma Sadleir's word of warning to parents

Digital content is dangerous content, warns social media law specialist Emma Sadleir.

She has co-authored a book titled Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones: A teenager’s online survival guide, written with neuroscience expert Dr Lizzie Harrison.

Sadleir says the smartphone camera, screenshot feature and internet connection are the three main risks linked to giving young children mobile devices.

She's adamant that smartphones should be banned for children younger than 13.

Everybody has become a celebrity in the digital age - even our children. We need to start managing that online reputation from a young age.

Emma Sadleir, author and expert

Giving a nine-year-old an iPhone is a mad idea.

Emma Sadleir, author and social media law expert

Read: Are you talking to your teen about 'sexting'? Here's why you urgently should

According to Sadleir, the phenomenon of the screengrab or screenshot has made all online content potentially publishable and permanent.

She explains that the potential theft, loss or hacking of phones creates an added risk for both children and adults with incriminating content on their devices.

Sadleir specialises in social media law and says cyberbullying, sexting and revenge pornography are the most common cases she deals with among youth.

She warns that before posting online, teens must consider the reactions of their parents, police, principal, paedophiles, phishers and prospective employees.

The errors that they make now at a young age, will impact them later down the line.

Emma Sadleir, author and social media law expert

By giving very young children smart phones we are giving them a lot of rope to hang themselves. By not educating them, we're saying go ahead.

Emma Sadleir, author and social media law expert

Don't let people take pictures of your kids doing things that they wouldn't want their principal, police or parents to see.

Emma Sadleir, author and social media law expert

As soon as they get a cellphone, they are looking at pornography.

Emma Sadleir, author and social media law expert

Sadlier spoke about the rise of 'sextortion', the 'digital shadow' and other trends that could affect children online.

Take a listen to her expert advice on how to protect yourself and kids online:


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